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7 Common Barriers to Selling Your Home

Tuesday, October 6, 2015   /   by Marion Franke

7 Common Barriers to Selling Your Home

Lots of things can get in the way of a successful real estate sale.  There is not enough room in this column to dig deep into the subject matter.  Read on to learn the most common barriers to success and instructions about how to get past them:

  1. The Wrong Real Estate Agent (or team):  If you see the role of your real estate agent as a marketing director, project manager and problem solver, you are not likely to “give” the job to someone that does not have adequate qualifications.  Your house is probably your biggest financial investment.  Make sure that you have the very best to represent you.  It could cost you thousands if the wrong agent is chosen.  Worse yet, it could cause the house to not sell at all.

  2. Non-Participation by the Seller:  The very best agency relationship cannot sell your house without your participation.  It needs to be staged correctly to show you are ready for the market.  We gave more detail about this process a couple of weeks ago in this column.

  3. Seller Not Ready to Move: In addition to the house being market-ready, the seller should be ready to move quickly should a buyer want the house right away.  If you have everything in order to move quickly, it makes the time between contract to closing much smoother – even when you are given plenty of time to complete the tasks.

  4. Seller Thinks Their House is Special:  We all know that it is truly special ---- to you and those you love.  That specialness does not translate into dollars in the real estate market.  It is hard to be objective.  To get out of the way of a sale, the seller must review the cold-hard-data and listen to how the agent translates that into a marketing plan.  If you have selected a good, well-seasoned agent to represent you, follow their advice.

  5. Thinking Price is the Only Thing to Negotiate: You want to negotiate the best price AND TERMS for the transaction.  Sometimes the terms are more important than the money being offered.  Be clear what terms would be most advantageous to you.  For example, would a quick close be good?  Or would you consider it a hassle?  Only you can know what terms are preferred. 

  6. Unqualified Buyers:  Inexperienced agents may bring a contract from a buyer who is not qualified to purchase.  Even if their offer is higher than others, don’t naively assume that the nice buyers are qualified.  Mortgage companies are very particular these days.  Learn the difference between a “pre-qualify” and a “pre-approval”.  Only accept offers from buyers who are pre-approved.  That is not even enough in this hot market.  Your agent can outline all the other factors that need to give you confidence about the buyer’s true ability to purchase.

  7. Title issues:  Title insurance is required by mortgage companies for a reason.  When a defect or “cloud” is on the title, it can take time to make sure it is clear to close.  If anything has happened that could put your clear ownership in question, address those questions before you get a buyer.  A few of the things that could be considered title defects are: divorce documents missing, issues with heirs, boundary variances, tax liens, contractor liens and many other things.